I really struggle to accept that he is not a person anymore. Death I can accept, at least I think I can, but the knowledge that there isn’t a Dad shaped being on this earth is too much to bear.
So, what is he? Where is he, if not here? If I can’t see him or touch him, why is there still so much love? He’s still my Dad. I think of him no less. I hear him more now than I ever did.
I close my eyes so I can picture him. He’s in hospital, a place I never was, but I picture him clearly. He has tubes up his nose to give him oxygen and the thick plastic tubing runs along the side of his bed. He is running it through his fingers. His big fat thumb rubbing the top of it, as if stroking an animal. His dog, Amber. He’s thinking of her. Maybe that small gesture makes him feel less alone. For he is alone. Surrounded by people; the sick, the dying, doctors and nurses struggling to keep up. But not us. Not a single one of us, the family that know him in every single way.
He glances out of the window to the clouds, he told us he liked watching them and begins to look for shapes. Is he wondering if he’ll feel the warm sun on his face again? Does he know he never will?
I break the spell and I’m back in my kitchen. Sitting in his dark blue dressing gown. I put the hood over my head and wrap it tighter so I enveloped in it. A lame attempt to feel closer to him, more connected.
He’s still here. Right inside me. That is where he lives now. In my heart.